Wednesday 28 January 2009


I'm currently thoroughly enjoying reading John Eden's blog,, as he posts his experiences of his first, second and third ever gig. Throwing street cred to the wind, he recounts seeing Howard Jones, Ultravox and Marillion and is completely unpretentious in what is a very honest, human account of the life of a teenager getting into music. Highly recommended.

First gig
Second and third gigs

Another current favourite blog is which has just posted an account of a trip to Cuba and the ubiquitous Che icon. Not a revelation but it's good to read a first hand account. However, I particularly liked the recent post about the disabled wheelchair 'logo'. An intelligent critique focusing on the fact that if ever a logo needed redesigning, this is it.

Finally, the 'must show you this' YouTube video that I'm boring work colleagues and house guests with is this American ad for Durex. Very good:

Tuesday 27 January 2009

East Ipswich

The view from the 6th floor of the new University Campus Suffolk Waterfront Building (click on photo for larger image). This is the closest I've made it to the sedum roof which appears to have settled in well since it was laid in September last year. I've posted here several times with views of the building from the Art & Design block (the grey building to the right of the chimney) as well as waterfront panoramas. Here you can see UCS Campus North, to the left of the chimney, inherited from Suffolk College (whose new building is still in construction just out of shot and due to open September 2009). Most of the current site is due to be demolished and landscaped over the next few years. Some is also due for a major refurbishment this coming summer, particularly the Art & Design department. Further to the right you can just make out Alexander Park that I walk through everyday to work and further right, Holywells Park.

Friday 23 January 2009

The Republic is dead… long live the Republic

Alas, The Designers Republic are no more. The Age of Chance sleeves were the first thing I saw by them. I hadn't thought about it until now but I guess they even designed the hammer and sickle cycling gear AOC wore on stage when I saw them at Colchester Uni back in 1987. TDR went on to bigger and better things but the buzz of studying those sleeves and thinking wtf is this all about while listening to the 'sonic metal disco' that was Age Of Chance is another example of graphic design having ruled my life for over 32* years. I didn't realize I was obsessed at the time but the bright silver sleeve (this photo doesn't do it justice) and the icon fest that adorned the paper insert kept me wanting more. It was so much more to do with the whole package than just the music.
More info about TDR's demise can be found here on the Creative Review blog.

* I can first remember being fascinated by a poster I had of The Beatles when I was about 8 and loving the fact that the all caps logo had the T in 'Beatles' descend below the baseline. As previously blogged here, I then later became fixated by the whole Two Tone iconography.

I Hart Tony

Nice piece on Eye's blog about Tony Hart who died last Sunday.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

He got game

I have little faith in politicians but there can be no denying, today is momentous, as the front page of the White House website shows. 
Now all I want see is Chuck D and Noam Chomsky as advisors.

Bollard Italic

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Patrick McGoohan, be seeing you.

Image from

It's not often I am affected by the death of a celebrity. The passing of Joe Strummer, John Peel and Kurt Vonnegut all touched me. And then again today I can not possibly put into words the sadness that I feel at the passing of Patrick McGoohan. The James Bond that never was, a man of conviction and high morals in life and on film. He was a great influence on me in my formative years when Channel 4 aired The Prisoner in the early 1980s and I've loved his screen presence ever since. Didn't matter what it was. But it was The Prisoner for which I, like most, will remember him. The phrase "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own" will forever be filed, stamped and indexed on my memory.


War costs

Great video detailing the cost of the war in Iraq to the USA, see it here.

Tuesday 13 January 2009


A Keep Britain Tidy survey published today reveals the following statistics about what percentage of fast food litter found in our streets comes from which source. Here's the results:

No surprise in first place is McDonalds with 29% while coming a close second is unbranded fish and chips/kebab with 21%
. An outsider creeps in at number 3 in the form of Greggs with 18% while forth place goes to KFC at 8%. Lastly comes Subway at fifth with a measly 5% which it shares with other branded coffee.

More information available here and there's a downloadable PDF region by region break down of the survey illustrated with pie charts, which presumably don't require packaging and thus don't cause a litter threat.

Project McJunk continues and I'm currently investigating putting on an exhibition in the near to distant future.

Thursday 8 January 2009

Journey: another pointless list

Late last year I drove to a relative's funeral. The journey should have taken no more than 1h 45m both ways but there was a horrendous traffic jam on the way back which kept me stationary on the M25/A12 slip road. Apart from listening to Radio 4 while in the hold up, I had my iPod plugged into the stereo and set to shuffle for the whole journey. Below is a list of artists it decided to play. The first number relates to how many times it played that particular artist on one shuffle; the second number relates to how many tracks by that artist I have on my iPod. This selection was picked from 2836 songs by 367 artists.

Vampire Weekend - 1 - 11
The Fall - 4 - 51
Massive Attack -1 - 16
The Jam - 3 - 41
The Supremes - 2 - 25
Public Enemy - 1 - 18
XTC - 1 - 15
Lord Creator - 1 - 1
Gorillaz - 2 - 31
Roots Manuva - 3 - 46
The Birthday Party - 1 - 24
Gang Of Four - 1 - 17
The Young Knives - 1 - 12
Adam & The Ants - 2 - 25
Lou Reed - 4 - 91
Culture - 1 - 1
Elbow - 2 - 12
Meat Beat Manifesto - 2 - 27
The Beatles - 1 - 62
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - 5 - 60
Blur - 2 - 18
The Ex - 1 - 14
Crass - 1 - 27
The Felice Brothers - 1 - 15
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - 1 - 14
Dino Perkins - 1 - 1
The Kinks - 2 - 54
Digitalism - 2 - 19
Bob Dylan - 1 - 34
Dr Alimantado - 2 - 14
Mark Stewart & The Maffia - 1 - 9
Steinski - 3 - 43
Hexstatic - 1 - 1
The Beat - 2 - 11
Chumbawamba - 1 - 25
Ken Boothe - 1 - 2
Toots & The Maytals - 1 - 1
David Byrne - 2 - 23
Thom Yorke - 1 - 19
Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - 1 - 20
Beirut - 1 - 15
The Congos - 1 - 6
Squarepusher - 1 - 10
The Clash - 1 - 16
Leonard Cohen - 1 - 12
The Broken Family Band - 1 - 23
Tom Waits - 1 - 28
Sufjan Stevens - 1 - 43
The Damned - 1 - 15
Talking Heads - 1 - 41
Tricky - 1 - 25
Max Romeo - 1 - 4
The Specials - 2 - 31
The Upsetters - 1 - 14
Autechre - 1 - 20
Homelife - 1 - 1
Arab Strap - 1 - 20

Atheist Bus

I've posted previously here about the Atheist Bus advert but now a campaign has raised enough money to roll these ads out across the UK. You can upload your photos of where you see the ads to the Atheist Bus Campaign website and for those that thought the inclusion of the word 'probably' on the advert was a cop out, here's a reply from the Atheist Bus Campaign website:

Why only ‘probably’ no god?
As with the famous Carlsberg ads (‘probably the best lager in the world’), ‘probably’ helps to ensure that our ads will not breach any advertising codes Committee of Advertising Practice advised the campaign that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”
Ariane Sherine has said, ‘There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t). As Richard Dawkins states in The God Delusion, saying “there’s no God” is taking a “faith” position. He writes: “Atheists do not have faith; and reason alone could not propel one to total conviction that anything definitely does not exist”. His choice of words in the book is “almost certainly”; but while this is closer to what most atheists believe, “probably” is shorter and catchier, which is helpful for advertising. I also think the word is more lighthearted, and somehow makes the message more positive.’

Sunday 4 January 2009


Today is the start of National Braille Week and the Royal Blind's Scottish Braille Press is in need of rebuilding at a cost of £2m. Find out about the campaign to raise funds for the press here and find out more about National Braille Week here.

Two way street

One way

The other way