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Inside the Design Museum’s new website

Posted: September 22nd, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design | Comments Off

The Design Museum in London launched a new website last week, designed by Netherlands‐based agency Fabrique and build partner Q42. We spoke to Josephine Chanter, head of communications at the museum, and Fabrique strategist Martijn van der Heijden about the thinking behind the redesign...

The Design Museum's previous website was launched in 2006 and as Josephine Chanter, head of communications explains, it needed updating. “Eight years is a long time in digital ‐ our old CMS and website were barely supported, and we wanted to start afresh,“ she says.

The new site offers a more streamlined design, with a greater focus on photography and video. A scrolling homepage offers a glance at current and future shows and events, as well as listing essential information such as contact details and opening hours, while the 'Designs and Designers' section explores objects in the museum's collection and profiles leading names from Zaha Hadid to Barber Osgerby.

Chanter says the museum began work on the redesign around nine months ago. After developing a 'digital vision', staff identified a longlist of over 20 studios whose work they had been impressed by and contacted each to inform them of the project. Eight studios were given the brief, six put themselves forward and four were invited to pitch for the project.

“We selected Fabrique as they had done a lot of work for museums in the Netherlands [the agency has designed websites for the Van Gogh museum, Museum de Lakenhal, Central Museum in Utrecht and the Rijksmuseum],“ says Chanter. “They understood the particular mix of ticketing, membership, collections and exhibitions that is unique to museum websites, and their work was very strong in terms of design,“ she adds.

As Martijn van der Heijden, a strategist at Fabrique, explains, the brief was to create something “seamless, engaging and inspiring“.

“To realise that, we wanted to create a website with a strong character that functions as a platform for exhibitions and activities, showcases and practical information he says. We wanted to create physical room to present this great content  and link everything together: exhibitions to products in the webshop, biographies to Twitter assignments. We also wanted to give the Design Museum a toolbox for future development of the site,“ he says.

Before working on the design, Fabrique held 'customer journey' workshops with the museum to identity different types of users and their needs. The new layout is based around the idea that 80 per cent of people visit museum websites for information on ticketing, while 20 per cent visit for inspiration, explains van der Heijden.

“This percentage is actually the same in fashion e-commerce: only 20 per cent is interested in new collections and look-books. We also knew [this 20 per cent] also spends 20 per cent more in the online shop, so it is important to serve both types of visitors. We do that with the inspiring Design & Designers section next to the more practical Visit and Do and Exhibitions section, and by making those practical pages visually inspiring,“ he adds.

As well as a simplified layout, the new site features bold yellow backgrounds and colour washes with large headlines in industrial typeface DIN, a look van der Heijden describes as stronger and more outspoken.

“Besides the fact that it has a strong character and is very readable, we like the fact that DIN was specially used for industrial products, which of course are an essential part of the museum's collection. The headlines have their own characteristic style but body text must be easy to read. That’s why we divided the text elements as much as possible,“ he explains.

While there's still a lot of content still to be added, the new Design Museum site already offers a richer, more engaging user experience than the old. The bold design is much more contemporary and features some lovely touches, such as icons relaying key stats about each exhibition, while drop down menus make it easy to browse and navigate. As well as allowing the museum to better showcase its collection and digital content, the new site is a helpful resource for visitors who are keen to read up on design and designers.

At the moment, the site lacks some of the functions which proved successful in Fabrique’s work for the Central Museum and Rijksmuseum the Rijksmuseum website features over 125,000 images of items from its collection, while the Central Museum site allowed visitors to view and save images from the collection, creating their own selections but van der Heijden says it will continue to grow and evolve.

“We look forward to the website providing richer experiences as it grows. The homepage allows for more use of video and interaction. The Design and Designers section offers great possibilities to make research that’s done and content that’s created for exhibitions permanently available. Also, we’ve got some great ideas on how to present a collection online that we’re anxious to include. Interaction with the museum audience will be an essential part in this,“ he adds.

London Design Festival: East London Treats

Posted: September 19th, 2014 | Author: Eliza Williams | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Illustration | Comments Off

The London Design Festival continues this weekend, with a selection of great shows across the city. Here's our pick of those out east...

LDF is dominated by product design, but those searching for examples of digital and interactive design would be wise to head down to Tent, at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, which is hosting 'Tokyo Designers Week in London 2014 – Tokyo Imagine', a selection of work showcasing Japanese tech creativity.

There is a multitude of great work to see here, ranging from the fun – a merry-go-round with a movie projected onto it – to the more mind-blowing, including a virtual reality music video using Oculus Rift for Japanese pop star Kumi Koda, available for viewers to experience, and various interactive installations that will see you become part of the artwork in seconds. Well worth checking out, despite the £10 entry fee (which gives you entrance to everything in Tent): all the info is here.

Tokyo Merry-Go-Round by Asami Kiyokawa

An innocent bystander is captured in Twotone's Fragments of Now – Reflections of Immediate Past installation

Selfie Jam by Hiroki Mitsuyasu x Shiftbrain

Visitors experience Kumi Koda's music video via Oculus Rift headsets

Also in Tent is 'Designing Polska – Design in Poland', a small exhibition displaying work by Polish graphic designers. More info is here.

Images of the Designing Polska display

Over in Haggerston, Dan Tobin Smith is displaying his collection of 'kipple' – useless objects, as named by Phillip K Dick in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – in colour-coded order in his studio. We have covered Tobin Smith's images of the kipple on the blog previously (which are also for sale) but it's a real pleasure to have a walk around the installation and inspect all the objects in the flesh. More info here.

Photos of Dan Tobin Smith's installation of kipple (plus image top)

Outside of the official design festival, there are other great design-oriented events taking place out east this weekend too. These include The Drawing Room, a project organised by Steph Hamill and Sarah Cutler. Hamill, a lecturer at Central Saint Martins, has invited a selection of recent CSM graduates to draw on the walls of her recently purchased Clapton home (before it is renovated). A live drawing event took place last night (pics below) and this evening there will be a party for people to view the work (and ideally commission the artists). More info on the project is here.

Finally, those near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this weekend shoud not miss out on 'Art Moves', an event celebrating "the extraordinary world of mobile art vehicles", and featuring what look like a frankly bonkers but brilliant selection of art cars. More info is here.

The Pineapple Car by the Bureau of Silly Ideas

The Conch by Walker and Bromwich

The Mobile Gull Appreciation Unit by Mark Dion

London Design Festival at the V&A

Posted: September 18th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Art, Digital, Graphic Design | Comments Off

A look at some of the highlights from the V&A's London Design Festival programme, including graphic mosaics, nightmarish 3D sculptures and a mesmerising experiment with light...

London Design Festival runs until Sunday, with installations, talks and events taking place across the capital (you can read our blog post on LCC's 160 exhibitions, covering graphics, illustration and button badges, here). This year, the headline installations at the V&A Museum are Zaha Hadid's Crest and Barber Osgerby's Double Space.

Crest is an ultra-thin sculpture made from eight millimetre-thick aluminium, installed over a pool in the museum's John Madejski courtyard. Hadid says it explores "the relationship between surface and structure, transforming the planar water surface of the pool into a curvillinear form, creating a compelling interplay with light and reflection." It will reside at the V&A throughout London Design Festival before moving to ME hotel in Dubai, which commissioned the project.

ME by Meliá 'Crest' by Zaha Hadid Architects. Image: Ed Reeve

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby's Double Space installation, housed in the V&A's Raphael Gallery, is made up of two 15-metre long mirrors weighing over five tonnes each, which are rotated throughout the day, creating a constantly shifting view of the paintings on show:

Double Space for BMW - Precision & Poetry in Motion. Image: Ed Reeve

Both are impressive, but my favourite piece at the V&A this year is Candela: a mesmerising installation designed by Felix de Pass, Graphic Thought Facility’s Michael Montgomery and ceramicist Ian McIntyre.

Placed in a darkened room among medieval tapestries, the installation is made up of a large rotary machine which sits just above the gallery floor. As the face of the machine rotates, it passes hundreds of LED lights housed in a ceramic casing, emitting an eerie green glow.

The project was commissioned by Italian watch brand Officine Panerai, and is inspired by the concept of time. It was made using superluminova, a phospherescent material used in the brand's glow in the dark watch faces, which is charged by LEDs as the machine spins, producing a series of luminous patterns which gradually fade to a softer, duller glow. It's beautifully constructed and the changing patterns are hypnotic - you can see it in motion in the video below:

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Another project that caught my eye was Berlin group The T/Shirt Issue's Dream Land, named after Edgar Poe's 1844 poem. The group, which have been based at the museum as part of a residency programme for the past six months, created a series of abstract sculptures based on 3D scans of objects in the museum's collection. Scans were digitally manipulated to create 'hybrid creatures'  reproduced as physical sculptures. The group says the installation, like a dream, "removes the certainty of the objects" leaving them open to alteration and reinterpretation.

Among the furniture and product designs on display is a series of new additions to the V&A's Design Fund (which acquires contemporary design objects), including a 3D printed 'Sketch' chair by Stockholm design company Front. The chair, below, was created using motion capture data and rapid prototyping: the design is based on an initial sketch made using pen strokes in the air, transformed into a 3D file using motion capture, and 3D printed.

In the British Galleries' cinema room is Future Graphics, a project curated by Factory Fifteen, Design on Film and Penny Hilton, head of the MA graphic moving image course at Central Saint Martins. Twenty eight CG and motion graphics films will be played on a loop throughout the duration of the festival, including work made by students at CSM. Only one film was playing on my visit, but featured some great CG footage of a Rolls Royce speeding through a rural landscape, with leaves blowing in the wind and water droplets falling to the ground.

By the V&A's Tunnel entrance is a lovely installation, Carousel Wall, designed by print and design studio David David in partnership with Johnson Tiles. The artwork is based on a 2011 piece by David David founder David Saunders, inspired by Islamic geometrics, and features bold graphic shapes in bright colours.

Also on throughout London Design Festival (and until early February) is Disobedient Objects, an exhibition showcasing objects made for protest and political activism which we wrote about in our August issue. The show, which opened this summer, is free to enter and a must-see if you're visiting the museum - objects on display range from protest banners to home made drones, political badges and a Tiki Love Truck (a mosaic car dedicated to a death row inmate in Texas, made in protest against his death). It features some brilliant graphics by Barnbrook, too, including vinyl 'barricades' on the door to the entrance and a neon green stitched sign:

The V&A is also hosting a Digital Design Weekend as part of LDF - among the talks and workshops taking place are a talk from Drone Shadows creator James Bridle on his A Quiet Disposition project, which gathers reports on unmanned aerial vehicles, plus a workshop and talk from Nelly Ben Hayoun on Disaster Playground, an online project speculating on future outer space catastrophes and safety procedures. Visitors can also have their bodies 3D scanned in workshop by the T/Shirt Group and create their own disobedient objects - for details of all events, see londondesignfestival.com.

NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual reissue

Posted: September 18th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Books, Digital, Graphic Design, Type / Typography | Comments Off

In 2012, a rare copy of the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual was discovered in the basement of Pentagram's New York office – and, page by page, the whole thing was documented online at thestandardsmanual.com. Now, it is to be republished as a book – which you can pledge to buy via a Kickstarter page set up to raise funding for its production...

In 1967, the New York City Transit Authority originally commissioned Unimark International's Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda to design a signage and wayfinding system that would dramatically improve the experience of travelling on the city's Subway. Their Manual changed the way the Subway looked – and worked – and their Graphics Standards document went on to become a modern design classic.

Within 72 hours of making their Manual website live, Niko Skourtis, Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth's site had received a quarter of a million unique views. But, say Reed and Smyth who are both Pentagram designers, despite incorporating some great full screen photography (plus a magnifying tool to read the texts), "the Manual really belongs in print".

So the pair decided to reissue the classic document as a full size book – and the project has proven so popular on Kickstarter that they have already broken through their $108,000 goal and currently have a pledge total of $618,000, with 22 days to go (full details are here).

While the early bird options on securing a copy of the book went quickly, at time of writing, US customers can still obtain a copy of the book (delivery date is March 2015) by pledging $118 or more; Canadian customers $133 or more; and interested parties in the EU – $158 or more.

All pledges at those amounts include shipping but orders must be placed within the funding period, which expires on October 10 – after this campaign, this reissue (officially licensed by the MTA) will not be available again.

By way of an introduction to the Manual, there's a great short film in which Pentagram's Michael Bierut explains the significance of the Vignelli and Noorda-design system for the New York Subway (below). The book iself will feature a written introduction by Bierut and an essay on the Manual's development by Christopher Bonanos.

Video: Harrison Boyce, harrisonboyce.com. Music: Edo Van Breemen, edovanbreemen.com


Here's what the original Manual looks like:


And here's an example of one of the scans of the original pages, on 'letter spacing', which the project's founders will be using to make each page of the new Manual:



A detail shows the quality of the scan:

"The original Standards Manual is held in a 5 ring binder," say the designers. "Each page inside the binder measures 13x13". The reissue will be Smyth (section) sewn rather than ring bound. Each page will measure 13.5"(343 mm) square, so we can include a 0.25"(6.4mm) border around each scan to ensure we can print the full 13" scan."

This mock-up gives an idea of how the page shown above will look in the finished book:


Some additional mock-ups of the book:


And scan details:


The reissue cover, introduction, and essay headings will be set in a custom version of Standard Medium by type designer Nick Sherman.

"Nick painstakingly recreated the font from the photographs we posted on thestandardsmanual.com and has allowed us to use it in the reissue," say the project's founders. "We are not altering the scans of the original Standards Manual in any way. We are only typesetting the cover, introduction, and essay in Nick's version of the font."


NYCTA Standard Medium by Nick Sherman

The typeface is based specifically on the glyph designs and spacing system presented in the Standards Manual


Full details of the Kickstarter project are at kickstarter.com.

Campaign management: Crowdsourceress Alex Daly and Vann Alexandra

Specifications of the reissue are as follows:

Printed in Italy.

364 pages with 176 four-color plates.

Plates printed from high-resolution scans of the original Standards Manual.

12 page introduction and essay (1 color).

13.5" W × 13.5" H (343 x 343 mm).

Hardcover with Cialux cloth wrap and foil stamped title on the cover and spine.

Smyth (section) sewn binding.

3 gate folds.

Printed on 100 and 140 gsm Munken Pure ivory offset paper.

White head and tail bands.

The book is huge.

It measures 13.5" (343mm) square and weighs over 7lbs (3.2kg).

More at kickstarter.com

Yes or No: the visual battleground in Scotland’s referendum

Posted: September 17th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Handmade 'Yes' sign, via Bruce Paterson (@sheepshagger81) and @YesWindaes

In the run up to Scotland's referendum both the 'Yes' and 'No' campaigns have unleashed a groundswell of support that has seen posters, signs and graphics taking over the country in an act of political engagement not seen for some years. With voting finally taking place tomorrow, we look at the significance of the visual imagery that has represented the two campaigns...

As Thursday's vote concerns a referendum for independence rather than an election, the most prevalent images have been based around the choice that will be on offer on the ballot paper: a 'Yes' for independence or a 'No' for retaining the union with the UK. These simple words have become the shorthand for the two campaigns and 'Yes' and 'No' graphics are at the very centre of official – and unofficial – communications.

It's a decision about nationhood so flags are naturally abundant, too: the Scottish Saltire adopted by the independence camp; the UK flag by the pro-union Better Together movement. This distinction has at times been muddied, however: Better Together supporters have understandably flown both flags together in unity, for example, while Number 10's appeal for the rest of the UK to show its support for the union was conveyed by hoisting the Saltire over Downing Street (or rather, failing to do so on the first attempt).


Official 'Fluttering Saltire' graphic from Yes Scotland's image resources webpage


While the UK newspapers have overwhelmingly come out in favour of the 'No' vote (with the exception of The Sunday Herald and a handful of individual columnists such as George Monbiot in the Guardian), the story on social media is a little different.

According to the Financial Times, Facebook's recent analysis of more than 8.5m posts and comments made in August that related to the referendum found that pro-independence was the subject of 2.05m interactions, while the pro-union vote was the subject of some 1.96m – not much in it. Suggesting more of a difference between the two camps, the 'Yes' campaign currently has over 258,000 'likes' while the No has just over 192,000 (over the same period).

But it's on Twitter that the 'Yes' campaign has flourished and has managed to combine both traditional aspects of electioneering – posters, window stickers etc – with the reach that social media provides. (@YesScotland has 96k followers; @UK_Together 41k.)

The 'Yes' images shown below (and at the top of the post) are from the collection assembled at @YesWindaes. There are plenty of images on Twitter from the 'No' side show assembled groups of people holding signs, but, it seems, far less photographs of the signs displayed on their own.

The 'Yes' signs are frequently hand-made, or make use of the word within another context – “Yes. Yes! Oh God Yes!” running across three window panes, being a standout. In recent posts, 'Yes' has also appeared in fields, on the rockface beneath Edinburgh Castle, and spelled out by cameraphones.


'Yes' sign in window in East Lothian, via John Johnston @JohnPJohnston67

Och Aye, via María Isabel @Fairysoprano

Oh God Yes!, via Lisa Sangster @lisa_sangster

Joint effort in Edinburgh, via Phil Wells @phillywells

The people at @BigYesTee admit "it's no in a windae, but it's next to a windae"

'Yes' sign placed on the rockface beneath Edinburgh Castle, via Mark Newton @CutbackMark


Thousands of supporters from both sides have also added a 'Yes' or 'No Thanks' badge to their Twitter avatar (it's officially known as a 'Twibbon') – see below:


How to create a 'No' vote 'Twibbon', via bettertogether.net


Yet the difference between the graphics – effectively digital posters – distributed by both official Twitter feeds is striking. Better Together favours statistics and lengthy quotes in rather serious-looking layouts (see first three images below), while the 'Yes' campaign taps into more emotive language – and also serves up some decent illustration along with it.

"Alex Salmond’s response to NHS experts in Scotland is always the same", via @UK_Together

Author JK Rowling adds her support to Better Together, via @UK_Together

Rather misleadingly, the tweet accompanying this image featuring quotes by CEOs of various supermarkets read: "Supermarket bosses have made clear that leaving the UK would push up costs for families in Scotland". Via @UK_Together

Three recent tweets from @YesScotland – handmade aesthetic in evidence


The official websites to both campaigns (bettertogether.net and yesscotland.net) feature 'resources' pages where infographics, logos, posters and the like can be downloaded to help campaigners on the ground.

But here, too, it's all to clear that the 'Yes' camp has the edge when it comes to its branding and identity design. The 'No Thanks' logo looks fussily apologetic against the stridency of the 'Yes'.

When seen from a distance the legibility of the 'Yes' makes for a powerful graphic – and, as can be seen from the above self-initiated examples – it can be more easily adapted than its 'No Thanks' rival.



The two campaign logos


Finally, compare the films that play on the yesscotland.net website, to the infamous Better Together spot, The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind. The latter hoped to appeal to women voters who were undecided, but missed the mark so spectacularly as to spawn its own meme within hours of airing. #PatronisingBTLady – and the associated jpgs – became more fuel for the 'Yes' fire.

From this...

... to this:

Via @YesIndyref

Via @YesWithDex

Setting the huge implications of tomorrow's vote aside for a moment, in a purely semantic sense the messages consist of a positive versus a negative.

Imagine the difference if they were reversed: if 'No Thanks' was in favour of ditching the United Kingdom, and a 'Yes' was for staying in it? Suddenly the pro-union campaign sounds a lot more emotive, more inclusive.

On purely visual terms, to me 'Yes' has always looked stronger, is more suggestive of positivity and, as independence voters would no doubt suggest, progression. There's not long to wait to see what does happen – but by Friday morning, yes or no, a hugely significant decision will have been made.


'Yes' sign viewed from a plane, via @NotoriousYesVan

'Fireworks Yes' graphic from Yes Scotland's image resources webpage

Dalton Maag launches new site allowing users to trial fonts for free

Posted: September 17th, 2014 | Author: Rachael Steven | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Type foundry Dalton Maag has launched a new website designed by Method, which features a range of new features and an option to try full font files for free before buying. We spoke to Bruno Maag and Method’s Tomi Lahdesmaki about the redesign...

The new site looks dramatically different to Dalton Maag's old and as well as simplified, fixed rate licensing options, it allows registered users to download full font files for pitches, non-commercial work and student projects free of charge.

While this is a risky move - there's no guarantee everyone who downloads the font will pay for it before using commercially - Dalton Maag chairman Bruno Maag says he hopes it will encourage designers to use the foundry's fonts in pitches and help justify high quality and bespoke typefaces to clients.

As Lahdesmaki explains, Maag was also aware that if a designer wanted to use a copy of one of the foundry's fonts for free, they could do so simply by asking friends or downloading from elsewhere on the web.

"The reality of the graphic design world is that fonts are distributed amongst designers for free. When a designer begins work on a specific project they often end up emailing all their buddies to track down a copy of a specific font so that they can play with it. If they like it and end up using it, then the designer will most likely suggest their client purchase the font. This is a reality that Dalton Maag embraced with the idea of releasing trial copies for all their fonts for free," he says.

"We know that the design industry is used to dealing with rights management for example with stock imagery or licensing music. We trust the user to ensure they have the correct license," adds Maag.

For users who choose to purchase a font, the new system is also much simpler: users can choose to purchase a web or app font and pay a fixed fee for that website or app per year (£48), with no limit on the number of end users. A perpetual license is priced at £480. It's a considerably cheaper alternative to complex licensing models, which are often calculated based on the number of users, page views or downloads.

"When licensing fonts for use on the web or in apps some foundries license based on the number of page views or number of app downloads," explains Maag. "This is inherently difficult for the user because they then have to monitor their website usage. It can also prove risky for a small developer who could be faced with a large bill if they happen to release the next angry birds or a website that goes viral.

"We recognised this and aimed to provide licensing that is fair no matter if you are a large corporate or an indie developer. These are time limited, we understand that websites and apps have a short lifespan so charge a flat fee per website or app per year," he adds.

Method and Dalton Maag say the new licensing options were influenced by digital music services such as iTunes and Spotify. Lahdesmaki says he hopes the trial font and new licensing options on the site "will fundamentally challenge and change the typography design industry, much in the same way that the music industry changed with the arrival of MP3s."

The reduced prices and unlimited usage options are likely to prove controversial - particularly among those who charge higher fees - but Maag says he hopes other foundries will "appreciate the changes and understand our reasoning behind them. If all foundries did the same thing it would be a very boring industry. Our new models may not be right for every foundry but they will help us achieve our goals over the coming years," he adds.

Visually, the new site is a considerable improvement on the old and features a bright, bold homepage displaying a range of the foundry’s fonts against original photography and illustration. Library and commissions pages take users to a similar layout, with font names displayed against brightly coloured backgrounds, while an about us section provides an introduction to the foundry and images of Dalton Maag staff. There’s also a blog section which will be updated with news, events and articles on works in progress.

Dalton Maag has been working with Method on the new site for around a year, with a range of new features to be added in the next few months. The agency was asked to create something that would work on any device and that users would want to visit for inspiration, not just when they were looking for a new font.

“Our old site had been static whilst the industry went through a period of change ... we wanted to respond to customer’s needs [and] thought it was important to conduct customer research and build a site that improved the experience for them,” says Maag.

Lahdesmaki says the site also aims to "tell the story" of the foundry's work, adding: “so much knowledge, talent and skill goes into the details of typography design – to properly appreciate the fonts, dedicated and immersive pages were required for fonts both library and commissioned."

Before working on the design, the agency conducted brand workshops and interviews with a range of creatives, from in-house designers to freelancers, to determine what they were looking for from a type foundry website. "Typography companies often take quite an insular approach, overly-focussed on the technique or technology of typography, all showing lots of big letters on white backgrounds, with the result that a lot of their websites look the same," he says.

"From our research it was clear that designers really see typeface design and choice as a key part of 'finding the voice' of a brand, and we embraced this as an idea that could connect everything – creating a unique visual world for each library and commissioned font to live in, and defining a new brand position for Dalton Maag as the partner that helps designers and brands to 'find your voice'," he explains.

The phrase 'Find Your Voice' is displayed at the top of the new homepage, and Maag believes this concept is what sets the website apart from its competitors. "Most foundries (including ourselves up until now) tend to show single characters from a font, big letters or phrases of text, often black text on a plain background.

"We realised this is not inspirational - type designers may appreciate the subtleties in the curve of a lowercase ‘a’, but our customers are more likely to be concerned with the voice the entire typeface carries. We think this is where some other foundries go wrong. Our new site aims to give all our fonts context, aiding decision making for the designer," he adds.

On the tartan farm

Posted: September 16th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Art, Digital | Comments Off

Ahead of Scotland's referendum on Thursday, a vivid night-time celebration of the country's most famous pattern style has been unveiled on a farm near Edinburgh. Created by street artists TrenchOne, Elph and Purshone a giant projection covers a house, a barn and group of log cabins in what can only be described as tartan light...

Leyden Farm in West Lothian has been transformed using projection mapping in a project conceived and commissioned by event company mclcreate. The effect is to drench the farm buildings in some particularly adventurous tartan patterning (which reminded me of the old joke about sending an apprentice to the shop for tartan paint – and a left handed hammer, a bubble for the spirit level while they're at it).

The artists – real names Ross Blair, Brian Mcfeely and Craig Robertson – apparently spent months devising the installation and collaborated with filmmaker Mike Guest and musician Jenifer Austin as the art collective Projector Club.

While the majority of the politically-motivated visual statements in recent weeks have made use of the two words at the centre of the Scottish referendum – with the Yes vote seemingly outplaying the No in terms of ambition: see the giant 'Yes' on the rock beneath Edinburgh Castle – the creators claim that the new installation wasn't made in support of either the standpoint and is simply a celebration of Scotland's past and its future.

Also involved with the project was Andy Stentiford (funktion creep); projectionist Jason Vagionakis (mclcreate senior tech); with technical logistics by Stuart Holligan (mclcreate warehouse supervisor).

hClub 100 list seeks your votes

Posted: September 12th, 2014 | Author: Creative Review | Filed under: Advertising, Art, Digital, Graphic Design, Photography | Comments Off

The public vote for this year's Hospital Club hClub100 awards is now open: vote for those who you think are among the most influential and innovative people working across Britain’s creative industries in the past 12 months

London private members' club The Hospital organises the hClub 100 each year in order to try to identify influential and innovative people working across categories including broadcast, fashion, music and advertising. CR editor Patrick Burgoyne was on the panel for the art and design category this year alongside Nancy Durrant, arts commissioning editor and an art critic at The Times and Victoria Siddall, director of Frieze Masters.

As with the other categories, the judges were tasked with selecting a shortlist from some 1000 nominations submitted by the public earlier this year. Each panel chose nine award winners. A 10th place in each category will be selected by a public vote which runs until September 24.

The Art & Design shortlist includes design studio UVA, Carl Burgess of More Soon (who wrote about CG for CR's August issue, photographer Laura Pannack, Universal Everything's Matt Pyke, Tom Evans of BleepBleeps and illustrator Kristjana S Williams.

Nominees for advertising (which CR was not involved in) include Grey ECD Nils Leonard, Nick Farnhill of Poke and directors Ringan Ledwidge and Tom Tagholm.

See the full list here

All 100 finalists will be announced at an exclusive hClub100 awards ceremony taking place in the Hospital Club Studio for the first time on the 8th October 2014,

All 4 identity to replace 4oD

Posted: September 11th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Music Video / Film, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Channel 4 has announced that its 4oD service is to be replaced with a new brand, All 4, from next year. Envisaged as a  single destination for all of the broadcaster's linear channels and digital content, the new identity reworks the original Channel 4 logo designed by Lambie-Nairn...

The studio's 1982 "puzzle" identity remains an important part of the Channel 4 branding. While the new All 4 identity aims to emphasise that the reorganised services are born out of a single channel (and echoes the "pathwork" nature of the original design), it uses the various colours of Channel 4's existing brands (below) within the new look.

The static logo was created in a collaboration between Magpie, We Are Seventeen and Channel 4's award-winning in-house creative agency 4Creative (the overall brand identity was designed by 4Creative and We Are Seventeen).

"It's an important moment in Channel 4's history as this new identity links our digital future to our creative roots," says Dan Brooke, chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4, "with the use of the much-loved multi-coloured logo, re-imagined for the multi-media 21st Century."

According to the broadcaster, the new All 4 user interface and functionality will launch initially on PC and iOS devices and will be extended to other digital platforms across 2015. The new interface will be structured around three "temporal states" – On Demand (past), Now (present) and On Soon (future).





Executive Creative Directors:
Chris Bovill & John Allison

Creative Directors:
Alice Tonge & Chris Wood

Business Director:
Nik Windsor

Senior Producer:
Nicola Brown

Senior Designer:
Kevin Price

Digital Producer:
Christos Savvides

Brand identity: 4Creative / Magpie / We Are Seventeen

The Modern Magazine and the 620 Reading Room

Posted: September 4th, 2014 | Author: Mark Sinclair | Filed under: Digital, Graphic Design, Magazine / Newspaper, Photography, Type / Typography | Comments Off

Tickets are selling fast for magCulture's Modern Magazine conference, set to take place at the London College of Communication on September 19. MC is also partnering with Vitsoe and Postcard Teas on a second event launching this month that aims to provide a place of calming magazine-related respite during the London Design Festival...

The Modern Magazine line-up boasts some great names from mainstream and independent editorial design and will aim to build on last year's discussions as to where the world of magazines is heading.

According to magCulture's Jeremy Leslie, this year's event will hope to "look more closely at subjects such as what can the mainstream publishers learn from the never-ending wave of independent magazine launches; how do we combine print and digital; and what's the secret of content marketing."


Veronica Ditting, art director, The Gentlewoman (UK/Netherlands)

The day will consist of presentations and discussions (full line-up at the bottom of this post), with refreshments, lunch and a drinks event where attendees will have the chance to meet the speakers. Attendees will also receive a magCulture tote bag full of magazines and other freebies.


Elana Schlenker, founder/art director, Gratuitous Type (US)

Registration is at 9am for a 9.30am start. The LLC is located here (map); event tickets can be purchased from the magCulture shop (general tickets are £140, student tickets are £70).

Additionally, visitors to magCulture's 620 Reading Room at Vitsoe's central London showroom can try out the company's 620 chair programme, sip a cup of Postcard Tea and read one of twenty independent magazines which represent the breadth of creativity behind the current growth of independent publishing.

A special publication, magmagmag, will also be available featuring interviews with the people behind the selected magazines and their own suggestions of further magazines to investigate. Copies will be free to visitors while stocks last (The Modern Magazine 2014 attendees will receive a copy too).

MagCulture will also be hosting a series of meet-the-editor sessions on afternoons at the 620 Reading Room during LDF (more details to follow via magCulture.com).


David Moretti, creative director, Wired (Italy)

The full Modern Magazine line-up is as follows:

Adam Moss, editor, New York magazine
David Moretti, creative director, Wired Italia
Jeremy Langmead, head of content, Christies
Kai Brach, founder, Offscreen
Veronica Ditting, art director, The Gentlewoman
Rob Orchard, founder, Delayed Gratification
Elana Schlenker, founder, Gratuitous Type
Peter Houston, blogger and man behind the Magazine Diaries
Simon Lyle, editor of Hot Rum Cow and new magazine Poppy
Danny Miller, founder of Little White Lies, revealing his new magazine
Danielle Pender, editor, Riposte
Pekka Toivonen, ‘art dictator', FAT

A list of speaker biographies is here.