Digital photography is great, but nothing beats holding an actual photo in your mitts. So wouldn’t it be spiffing if eggheads created a camera capable of spewing out prints on the fly? They have, and it’s called the Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Camera

Combining the instant fun of an old school Polaroid camera with the groundbreaking technology of the smash hit PoGo Printer, this 
5.0 mega pixel snapper does exactly what it says on the tin; takes a picture then ejects a print on a 2”x3” slice of sticky-back photo paper. Cool, eh! 



WWF/Adena has spent years making people aware of the implications of climate change and that everything may come to an end if we don’t do something to stop it. From the smallest things, to the biggest, the planet. In order to get people to join up over the 2007 Christmas period, they enclosed a WWF/Adena insert in certain book collections in several bookshop around Madrid. The insert looked like just another page in the book. A leaf of the same paper, same weight, same colour, same font… On the page was written “The End”, surprising the reader that the book had ended long before the last page. In this way they wanted people to understand that any story, anything, can end before it is supposed to if we do nothing. So, on the other side, they asked them to help stop climate change by joining WWf/Adena. WWF/Adena received a reply from 20% of the enclosed coupons, considerably increasing during the first two weeks the number of mebers and partners.

Advertising Agency: Contrapunto, Spain
Creative Directors: Antonio Montero, Jaime Chávarri, Iván de Dios
Art Director: Clara Hernández
Copywriters: Guillermo Santaisabel, Jaime Chávarri
Photographer: Alvaro Guzmán

Advertising Agency: 303 Group, Perth, Australia

Never Sleep

After reading this article I decided to buy the book.. it came this morning :)

Don't you just love the smell of new books!

Never Sleep - a book written by Andre Andreev and G. Dan Covert.

There is a major disconnect between the life of a design student and the transition to being a design professional. To demystify the transition, we share the failures, successes, and surprises during our years in college and progression into the field: the creative process, monetary problems, internships, interviews, mistakes, and personal relationships.

During the 3rd Year of my B.A Graphic Design Course, I’ve been very lucky in being able to attend many lectures from Manchester based design companies, such as Thoughtful, Truth and True North.. And they’re just the ones that begin with a ‘T’. But not only have we had people come into college to talk to us, we’ve been to Manchester to see Peter Saville, Sheffield to see Rick Poynor and also Liverpool to see a whole host of people talk as part of the Liverpool Design Symposium

On the 23rd of October 2008 we travelled the 37miles to Liverpool to see Matt Pyke’s Universal Everything talk as part of D&AD’s President’s Lectures series. The day had already included a tour of Liverpool’s Biennial by design agency Thoughtful and a talk by the wonderful Bruno Maag so I was eager to hear what Universal Everything was about.

From a garden shed in Sheffield, Matt Pyke is at the centre of the design collaboration Universal Everything. From its earliest days four years ago right up to the present, Matt has been the only full-time employee. Watch a video here to see how Universal Everything works.

Permanently hooked into iChat or logged into Hotmail, Matt plays the role of Creative Director and calls on a talented cast of both regular and not-so regular contributors, purely on a needs-must basis. The company operates worldwide with an ever-expanding modular team of designers, programmers, animators and musicians. He seems to be operating on a different level to a lot of designers and his whole studio set up is very interesting. Universal Everything is a virtual studio network, rather than one central office. Matt Pyke is based in Sheffield and the other people he work’s with are dotted around the world. He comes up with the basic direction and then builds a unique team based around the project brief. He mentioned in the talk that it’s “good to not know everything.”

‘Everything’ being coding, programming etc.

Pyke comes from a musical background, designing record sleeves and promotional stuff, but universal Everything has since then branched out to include gallery design, advert animation and website design. Pyke says it’s “good to not know everything” as it doesn’t hinder your ideas. He used the advertising campaign they created for Audi TT as an example.

Audi TT Launch / TV advertising from Universal Everything on Vimeo.

This was originally a simple napkin idea which Pyke roughly sketched out but had
no idea how to execute with his limited knowledge of certain software programmes at that time. He then gave the advice of, “find experts who know how to do what you want to happen”. No one can ever be skilled at everything and there will always be someone out there who’s better at it than you. But by combining the two together, as you can see from the video clip, it can create some stunning and beautiful pieces of design and slowly you’ll begin to learn more.

This message was also echoed in Craig Oldham’s lecture on the 23rd April 2009.

Craig has been out of University for 3 years now and has worked at big design agency The Chase but has recently moved to the smaller company, Music.

During Craig’s lecture, he was discussing his award winning publication 12IN12.

In ‘lesson 6’, Craig said, “Do you remember when you were at school and you used to do your work with your arm wrapped around your exercise book and scream for teacher as soon as someone even as much glanced at you? Well, you were seven years old then and I bet you’re still doing it now. Design is not a solitary practice, by any means. Even one-man-band outfits still collaborate with others. Don’t think you can do everything.” He kept reiterating the importance of being honest with yourself; identify your strong points but also your weaknesses in order to become a better designer. Don’t create a website if you know you’re not very good at them because you won’t do your ideas justice and the lack of knowledge and skill hinders your creativity; get someone else who knows more than you.

Even though Matt Pyke collaborates with many different people from all around the world via webcam and email, I can’t help but feel he’s still working in some sort of confinement, he’s still got the metaphorical arm over his work with no-one else to look over it with fresh ideas. Pyke mentioned during his talk that anyone can create a studio - all it takes is a laptop and a mobile phone. Sure, you can share ideas with people over the phone or webcam, but once you’ve hung up, you’re just one man in a shed in Sheffield. I think that having other people around you is an important factor when it comes to producing good work. Your colleagues are the ones that could have a quick nosey over your shoulder at your sketchbook and see something in an idea that you may have dismissed. I know that working in a studio environment at college has benefited my work greatly. You’re able to bounce ideas from one another and ‘invite comments about your work; two heads are better than one’; another point which Craig Oldham made during his lecture.

Technology today is a great advantage when it comes to connecting people from all over the world but I don’t think I could work solely just using iChat and email for communication with others, although some see it as the modern way to run a studio. But Something so seemingly insignificant like a fleeting comment from someone walking past your work can trigger off a whole new way of thinking and improve your work so much. I think that this will be something I’ll have to be thinking about when finding a place to work, making sure it’s a great studio environment. I think I’d struggle if I became a freelancer working on my own at home.

I do believe though that both Matt Pyke and Craig Oldham make valid comments when they agree that collaboration with others is important within design. You want your work to look the best so you get the best to work on it. You may not be the best copywriter, but someone out there is bloody good at it so why not have them strengthen your idea.

WWF: Lungs

Advertising Agency: TBWA\PARIS, France
Executive Creative Director / Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen
Copywriter: Nicolas Roncerel
Art Directors: Caroline Khelif, Leopold Billard, Julien Conter
Account Supervisor : Laurent Lilti


Anthony Smith from Music

entertaining business card, actually printed on recycled vinyl, it becomes a talking point... they actually made the card before naming the company, their company name comes form the fact that when they were talking, when the subject of music and bands came up, thats when they became most animated and passionate..

did a HND in '89 at Bolton College.. graduated in a recession too.. he was then at Tucker, Clarke, Williams for 5-6 years

then London and then owned his own company altho not that successful.. did a bit of freelancing
bout 18months ago.. a friend asked if he wanted to start up a company back in manchester and that's what Music is..

his lecture included;
1. how he first got a job, times were rough for him too
2. how they set up Music.. a friend from Love who still had some contacts
3. how they work.. brief - question it - some answers
4. showed some current work

it may take about a year but don't be put off - keep a focus on your aim
if you have to take on a part time job or even full time to get some money in, still keep designing, ringing up companies and writing to them
students are afterall the resource for all the new ideas.. we're cheaper and as budgets are getting cut, it's a great way for companies to save money and still get great ideas.

when at portfolio crits.. make the portfolio a presentation.. practice it so you know what to say, give them time to actually look at it. be clear what the brief was and how you answered it.

when on placements.. be helpful, positive, interested - ask questions.. being positive makes all the difference

it's still great to get ideas down on paper.. ideas and roughs - quickly get a feel for it

aim high with your ideas.. it's easier to rein it in rather than build ideas up.

something with an idea better communicates a message rather than one that's just for aesthetic reasons. people remember it more when they get it.

chester perform - film festival - makes the work digital out of film negatives.. two things combined.. old film and the word digital. the client wanted images.. you often have to compromise in this line of work.

flip flops - box was a lightbulb moment, just feels so good

you can get in a bubble sometimes, it helps to get other peoplpes advice & opinions

when i asked about trying to stand out when contacting companies.. be persistant - you can tell a lot from an email - spelling can be vital... never just pester everyday, but once you keep contacting maybe every few weeks, shows that you really want it.

attention to detail is very important.

Nearly 60% of UK design consultancies employ fewer than five people, yet two of the world’s leading practitioners say 12 is the ideal number of staff to have. So, what is the best size for a design studio?

The question arose at yesterday’s Podge lunch – an annual event that this year marked Lynda Relph-Knight’s 20 years as editor of Design Week. Neville Brody and Erik Spiekermann were having one of those ’so, how are things with you?’ conversations that, right now, tend to involve much nervous touching of wood and finger-crossing. So I asked them, what do you think is the right number of people to have in a studio? Both, without hesitation, gave the same answer - 12. Why? It means you are big enough to take on major projects but small enough to stay in control: any larger and you have to start taking on the kind of work that you’d rather not do just to way the bills.

The question of how to grow (or, this year, more likely how to cut back) without undermining your business seems to be a constant problem for design studios. As we reported recently, Ian Anderson felt that one of the contributory factors to the demise of the Designers Republic was that it had grown too big and had ceased to be the company that he wanted it to be. It’s a familiar tale.

According to the Design Council, 82% of UK design studios have ten or less employees, so the prevailing view is definitely against Spiekermann and Brody. Many of the leading lights in graphics have surprisingly modest operations - Farrow, for example, is just three people, including Mark Farrow himself.

So, in these times when everyone is considering cutting staff numbers and how to re-shape their business, what is the optimum size to be?

found on the CR Blog

Sweeny Todd

Two projects for Leeds Youth Opera's production of Sweeney Todd, both designed by B&W Studio. The brochure (8) was printed black-only onto newsprint. It features illustrations by Leeds University student Nic Burrows of eight characters from the production. The loose-leaf brochures were handed out before and after the performance, as were posters (9-11), rolled to resemble barbers' poles.
Photography: Mike Feather

taken from Creative Review - The Annual (May 2006)

quite similar to Karl's Barbershop project by Glorious, an award-winning Manchester graphic design agency.

The owner of one of Manchester's last traditional gentleman's barbers wanted something special when celebrating 40
years in business.

Solution: As most customers were city professionals,
it made perfect sense to run the calendar over the financial year, utilising the red and white striped barber's pole and other iconic images to create a clean, crisp promotional item. The calendar won several awards.


The Pong Table designed by Moritz Waldemeyer. It's a part of MoMA's Design & the Elastic Mind Exhibit. This table re-creates the classic game Pong, introduced by Atari by 1972. The tabletop has 2,400 LEDs and two track pads embedded in its surface, turning the white Corian into a digital gaming borad. When the game is turned off, the integerated technology disappears.

found here

A to B

Advertising Agency: DDB, Milan, Italy
Executive Creative Director: Vicky Gitto
Art Director: Aureliano Fontana
Copywriter: Bruno Vohwinkel

found here

Barcelona based design group, Studio Astrid Stavro, have recently created some lovely work for the Art Directors Club of Europe Conference. 'Syzygy' is a dramatic kind of eclipse (the alignment of 3 or more celestial objects), this idea parallels with the three 3 design and advertising stars who will be headlining the event. After this 'eclipse' of speakers, the winners of the ADCE awards - would shine the day after... I think it's such a nice concept and have also included this in my recent Sketchbook for my FMP.

Last November we went on a college trip to Barcelona and I was lucky enough to get a portfolio viewing with Astrid Stavro along with Jon, Ryan and Alex. After finding the studio, mastering the maze of narrow back streets, we knocked on the door to be greeted by a male junior designer. He mentioned that Astrid had just popped out but let us in to wait. He was very friendly and told us about himself, mentioning that he hadn't long graduated himself and seemed very interested in what we were doing ourselves. The studio itself was only small, with approx. 4 macs and then the biggest and most interesting looking bookshelf I've ever seen as a division for Astrid's office and the rest of the studio.
When Astrid arrived, she was keen to show us all some of the work they did in the studio, and I soon realised that half the books in the book case were ones they'd designed. She showed us the Syzygy' work they did for ADC*E and explained the reasoning behind it. She did this for every project she showed us and we soon ended up with a mountain of work on the table it was hard to see the person sat opposite. You could see that she was eager to try and show us everything. Astrid also showed us the GridIt series of notepads she's designed and I realised that I've seen them in Magma in Manchester and liked them then :)

After that, we were then able to show Astid our own portfolio's and explain each project that we'd completed and she happily gave us advice and pointers and praise.

After hearing the horror stories of Graphic Design being a hard Industry for females to get into, it was great seeing such a great and passionate female designer being the big boss and getting mentioned in publications such as CR and DW.

Twenty-Four Seven aims to provide students with an insight into the design world by highlighting some basic issues that need to be considered before starting work. Twenty-Four Seven draws upon the experiences of internationally renowned designers, with email comments from Tom Roope (Tomato Interactive, UK), Alexander Gelman (Design Machine, NY) and Jan Wilker (Karlssonwilker Inc, NY) and interviews with Jonathan Ellery (Browns Design, London), Peter Saville (London) and Adrian Shaughnessy (TiRA, London).

Twenty-Four Seven has been designed for you to print out. You're downloading a print ready .pdf with bleed and trim marks. We would recommend you scale to fit an A4 page and print it double sided. Once trimmed, you can spiral bind and keep your copy, forever. Enjoy!

download the pdf here

Sleeping is definitely one of life’s greatest pastimes. Just ask Garfield. But the best part of sleeping has to be dreaming. Where else can you experience the splendour of a tartan hippo’s picnic under the bright green sky of Salvador Dali’s sausage allotment than in the land of dreams?

Okay, that’s pretty random, but then dreams usually are. One night you’re meeting Michael Jackson on the Planet Tharg, and the next you’ve inexplicably figured out how to fly before turning up at school naked. Yikes! Still, more often than not we’d like to recall our dreams, and that can be infuriatingly tricky.

That’s where the iREMember Dream Recorder comes in. This ultra sleek gadget wirelessly syncs to its accompanying headgear and automatically starts recording when you enter REM sleep. But how? It might seem a bit sci-fi but thanks to the super high density EEG electrode cluster, a previously unheard of amount of data can be monitored by the device. Amazing!

While this technology is relatively new, the patented Filter and Decoder make the iREMember a world first. They ensure the iREMember stores and converts useful information into an actual video. The resulting video file (up to 60 minutes) can then be copied to your PC or Mac via USB, or you can plug the unit directly into any TV with the handy AV cable (included). To say this is utterly jaw-dropping stuff is an understatement of epic proportions.

Of course we recommend you vet your recordings before showing them to friends and family. Our head buyer inadvertently gave us a bit too much insight into his inner psyche when he proudly showed us a lovely dream. A lovely dream that quickly descended into a video of a gang of screaming clowns chasing baby chimps into a fiery canyon. Nobody sat next to him at lunch for a week.

Dreams have been responsible for inspiring artists, musicians and writers since the beginning of time, so being able to directly reference them will be invaluable for creative types. Lucid dreamers could even direct their own Hollywood blockbusters while getting a good night’s sleep! The iREMember is going to be massive, so get yours now and be one of the first. As John Lennon once said: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Available for £149.95 from

Happy April Fools from Firebox..... the bastards! :D

The question of ‘Too many design graduates?’ is such a big issue in today’s climate that I believe it’s near impossible to sum up within a 750 word limit, which is why my word count goes just that little bit over. I’ve chosen to tackle this question as it directly affects me as a 3rd year student hopefully graduating in just a few months time.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency the number of undergraduates studying design and creative arts-related subjects has risen from 87,170 in 1996-97 to 140,195 in 2003-04, a leap of some 53,025 people in only seven years. Add another 16,220 architects (grouped in another statistical category) and it quickly becomes clear that the country is taking its final step in mutating from an industrial nation to a creative one.

So, is this a huge opportunity for employers? Or a nightmare of endless CV’s and just far too many portfolios and final year degree shows to look at properly?

It was always going to be tough to get a job in the industry, I’ve been told that since my ND course but it never discouraged me because I was passionate about the subject and I enjoyed doing it. But the daunting prospect became even scarier when I completed a 2-week placement at Bolton based design company Fudge. They currently have 2 senior designers and a junior designer in their studio. That’s 1 company with only 3 jobs; 3 jobs that are already filled by people who have years of experience in the industry. Why would they want an inexperienced University graduate taking up space? That’s how I was thinking before attempting to answer this question anyway.

With the current economic crisis, things seem to have just become worse for this years batch of graduates, as if it wasn’t going to be enough of a challenge without this added concern. Being a graphic design student though, I’m asked to solve problems all the time and this recession is just another challenge that I’ll have to face and overcome.

As the credit crunch hits and fewer jobs are available, Ian Cochrane is recommending design students to “get out” of the sector, which “does not need you”. He advises graduates to “look for jobs in industries that have vacancies – I mean, if you want to design restaurants, it is good to have worked in one or two”.
Well, that was a dose of cold reality and kind of depressing considering the amount of debt I’ve incurred trying to get such a career. I can see that by taking his advice, you’d get to know your subject inside out, but it’s the designing that I’m interested in and the way in which a design company runs and operates is totally different.

Graduates may not have the experience but in my opinion, design firms
need an injection of enthusiastic designers who have fresh and insightful ideas, or they run the risk of becoming stagnant. Referring back to my example of Fudge, they have designers there with much more experience than me, but they still offered me a desk to work at for 2 weeks. It was my first chance seeing how things happened in the ‘real world’ and they were keen to pass on their knowledge of design and the industry they’re working in, but they also asked for my thoughts and opinions on the work they were designing. I was a fresh set of eyes viewing their work and commenting on it, at the same time as doing some work for them whilst they were busy.
I just wonder if Cochrane would’ve listened to his own advice when he was a student? He probably wouldn’t be the ‘industry heavyweight’ he is now.

On a more positive note though, Glenn Tutssel of the Brand Union is much more optimistic. Whilst being interviewed for a Design Week podcast, he says,
“Student placements are really tough out there at the moment… there’s work around for good people who can actually add value to consultancies, so for good people it’s the same old story. It’s my 3rd recession, 30 years in the industry, and the great people out there will always be in work.”
I personally think that that last line should read, “the great, passionate and enthusiastic people out there will always be in work,”

I think these days, the design course has become overly accessible and seen by many people as a trendy and easy option and don’t want to struggle getting a degree, hence the rise in numbers. Michael Peters comments,
“There is too big a supply of young designers and far too many people doing mediocre work.”
I think the students that are creating the mediocre work are the ones that are on the course for the wrong reasons. Not only do you need to be good, you need to be passionate about the subject and be willing to struggle to get to where you want to be, not just be doing it for the trendy lifestyle or the success and ‘fame’ that some designers have. I know that design is what I want to do and that I enjoy doing it, I just now need to find a way to stand out from the many other design students by putting in that little bit more effort and going that extra mile.

I have been emailing companies recently, contacting them asking for portfolio viewings and also asking questions about how they got into the industry themselves but I have received few replies. I’ve found this very disheartening as it happened last year as well with the logbook, but I’ve just got to remember how many other undergraduates are doing the very same thing and not to give up. It’s very easy to just click a link and fire off an email and how is mine going to stand out from the many others that land in the company’s inbox each day? I’m not going to give up trying to contact these companies, but I think I’ll have to think of a new approach. Also, once I’ve established that connection, how am I going to get them to remember me? James and Lauren certainly made an impression down at the Love offices with their teapot, which they left behind after a portfolio viewing (
here) I just need to find a way in which I can do the same.

I believe that the economic crisis may actually help the design industry. Even though there will be less jobs, it’ll separate the students that really want a career in design and the ones that aren’t as passionate. The ones that aren’t will give up at the first knock back. Those that want it the most will push out all the stops to get to where they want to be.

There is always going to be a high number of people all wanting the same job as you and with the recession looming, it’s always going to be hard finding a job whatever profession. But as Glenn Tutssel said, “the great people out there will always be in work.”

I’ve just got to keep trying.

email to: A to M

contact with: Fudge

I hope they don't mind me posting up photos from when I was on placement there...

I was offered a 2 week placement at Fudge Studios in Bolton in the last couple of weeks in September 2008. Getting up at 6:30am and not getting home til gone 7pm some nights, those 2 weeks were a real shock from the cushy college communte and workign hours! I knew it would be worth it at the end of it all though. I was very nervous on my first day, I didnt know what to expect at all. Andrew Birley gave me a tour of the studios, showing me where everything was and I was then given a computer to use in the Designers room.. for the first week Gav and Robin the senior graphic designers were in and in the 2nd week it was mainly Gav and Christian, Christian being a junior designer. I was asigned the task of designing a blog for a new project management program Fudge had made and seeing as though i'd never done anything like that before, I found it really difficult, but every now and then, Gav would ask me how i was getting on and show me a few pointers. It was interesting seeing what they were up to too. When Gav got given a new brief, I noticed he worked in a very similar way that we do in college. He would research competitiors, see what design was out there and then rought mock-up on the mac some quick ideas and then post them up on the wall and call everyone round to get their opinions. This is something we do at college, but this was a much more quicker working pace... did he all that before lunch!

It was interesting to know that they had a seperate room for all the technical and website making side of things, and they had more tech staff than designers.. eventhough they were in a different room, everyone got along even realised I got on the same train as.... I want to call him Pete but i'm not sure... but we used to walk from the station to the studio together and i got to ask him a few questions about what he did once he graduated.

Also, though general chit chat, it turns out me and Gav had the same tutor on the ND Course at Stockport College so we got to talk about that too.

Whiclst I was there, they were working on the England Squash Identity.. I had to stick those 48 A3's on the wall that you can see on the phot above.. but I got insight on how they prepared to present their solutions to the client.. gathering everyone round to discuss how it should be presented and in what order. Again, very similar to how we work in college.

On my last day, Andy Eccles had a talk with me asking me how it went and what I got out of the placement and just told me some words of wisdom, and also mentioned that I could contact him agan should i need any references which I thought was extremely nice of him.

Following on from the placement, I bumped into Dave Eccles and Gav when Peter Saville did a talk for GF SmIth and he seemed keen to know what i was gettin up to at college. And I also got an invite to their end of year party which was a lot of fun.. hopefully I'l pluck up the courage to get networking and start making more contacts :)

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